SRAM Visits Art’s Cyclery HQ

We were lucky enough to get some quality time in with the folks from SRAM last weekend when they stopped by to show us some of the latest and greatest to make its way out of Chicago. We got a firsthand look not only at the newly released Guide brakes, but also one of the first redesigned RED 22 Hydro Shift levers to make their way stateside (Check out our video and full preview here). Stay tuned for some helpful videos on how to bleed both of SRAM’s new hydraulic brakes.


Bringing along their demo fleet, we also got a chance to ride the latest Force 22 group—a surprisingly impressive groupset, considering its rather reasonable price tag. We also got to lay hands on Zipp’s new SL-70 aero handlebar.


Guide Brakes

SRAM’s latest set of stoppers, dubbed the Guide, as an homage to the backcountry trail guides who proved instrumental in their development, are an important offering for the brand.

Launched amidst a flurry of other new releases from SRAM, the importance of the new Guide brakes may have been slightly overshadowed.

Moving away from the reliability-plagued Taperbore design, the new Guide family of brakes moves to a timing-port design that SRAM promises to provide a much more reliable system requiring much less maintenance in terms of bleeding.

In addition to the more robust cylinder design, the Guide lever also introduces SRAM’s new Swinglink technology. Essentially a linkage-driven cam, Swinglink requires less lever throw to push the pads toward the rotor, but after making contact, changes to a linear leverage ratio, allowing for vastly increased modulation.

While 35 grams heavier than the XO trail brake, if the Guide is able to shake the reliability issue that plagued previous Taperbore offerings, in addition to offering much-improved modulation and lever feel, that’s 35 grams we’re happy to have.

And while in the end, time will eventually tell, it appears for now that with the new Guide, SRAM’s brake technology has finally found its way.